The Bare Traveller

Does it snow in Seattle – The guide

In Seattle, snow does fall. However, the answer can be “sometimes” rather than always depending on where you are from. Deep snows are not a hallmark of Seattle winters. 

You won’t find that type of snow in Seattle, so if you’re used to knee-high powder, you might be curious what it looks like. 

Perhaps if the amount of snow Seattle gets is typically only a few inches or even just a dusting, don’t be shocked if most people around you are awestruck by it.

King Street Station Seattle Washington USA

In Seattle, snow doesn’t fall frequently enough to be the norm, so when it does, locals typically get enthusiastic.

The Seattle region doesn’t get heavy snowfall very often, but there are certain special factors to take into account while dealing with snow in the Northwest. 

Discover in this article what makes snow in Seattle, even just a few inches, so special and difficult by reading on.

What type of snow can you expect in Seattle?

Seattle receives slightly over five inches of snow on average each season, although there are years when there is little accumulation. 

In the record years, there were amounts that would be quite rare today: 21.4 inches in 1950, 21.5 inches in 1916, and a record 64 inches over the entire season in 1880. 

In some years there is either no snow at all or only a little dusting that evaporates quickly.

Seattle generally shuts due to snow

Beware despite the yearly average snowfall being minimal. Even more than places that get much more inches of snow, Seattle often shuts down (or at least operates at minimal capacity) when it snows. 

The abundance of hills in Puget Sound cities like Seattle, Tacoma, and others is one of the primary causes. The snow melts and then freezes overnight due to the frequently near-freezing temperatures, making the roadways treacherous and slick. 

If you live or work in downtown Seattle or Tacoma and don’t want your car to turn into a sled on a chilly morning, you should consider taking the bus. Go outside with extreme caution.

Navigating a slick road in Seattle

Drive carefully if you must after a snowstorm. Even if you have enough of snow driving experience, not all drivers do. Keep an eye out for other drivers, drive gently, and give other vehicles plenty of room. 

If your automobile doesn’t have chains or isn’t designed to handle this condition, avoid driving down hills. If you have to go, a few snow driving tips might be helpful.

CenturyLink Seattle Washington USA

Public Transport

You might do better to stick with public transport if you need to travel to downtown Tacoma or Seattle. Both cities have hilly downtowns, which may be quite dangerous if you run across some ice. 

In icy conditions, even public buses frequently alter their routes, yet they nearly always manage to get you where you need to go.

If you have to leave the city during a snowy day

Mountain passes in the Seattle region are another option if you need to leave town. There are a few options for crossing the Cascades if you’re travelling east, but be careful to check the road conditions beforehand. 

You will need to know how to chain if there is snow because be prohibited from entering passes without them. 

The passes are at various heights, therefore the weather may vary depending on the pass. You’re generally safer travelling north or south, but you should check the state of the Highway I-5 in Oregon first.

Getting used to easily impressed locals

You know how heart-pounding a few snowflakes can be if you’re from the northwest. You might be surprised to learn that residents are concerned about the snow falling. 

When there are just a few shards, if you are from a region that typically receives more snow than Seattle do. You should have fun. Snow is wonderful and uncommon.

Seattle Washington USA

How chilly is November in Seattle?

On average, Seattle has daily highs in November that range between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 13 degrees Celsius). Typically, the lowest temperature ranges from 38 to 43°F (3 to 6°C). 

We may also ponder which month is the coldest in Seattle. January is know for being the coldest month on the year in Seattle. 

Does it snow in November in Seattle?

When does the Snow season begin in Seattle?

The first month that snow normally falls in is November. It receives 1.2 inches (30.5 mm) of snowfall during November on average over 0.5 snowfall days.

Also be aware that Washington State experiences snowfall in November? Snowfall in November in Washington is typical. 

The figures represent the total number of fresh snowfalls and the number of days with at least 0.25 millimetres (0.1 inch) of snowfall this month.


Which months you can expect snow in Seattle?

You are more likely to experience Snow in the following months if you are planning to visit Seattle:

Mid-December through late December, early and mid-January through late January, and mid-February through late March will be the coldest times of year. 

Mid-December, early, and mid-to-late January will see the most snowfall. Recently in 2022 saw a blizzard coming from the arctic circle storming the entire territory of the United States of America, including Seattle.  

Where to Ski near Seattle?

If you are an avid Skier, I have listed below the best locations within few hours driving from the capital of the Washington state:

  • Summit at Snoqualmie: Located 1 hour away from Seattle.
  • Stevens Pass Mountain Resort: Located 1h and 45 minutes from Seattle.
  • Crystal Mountain Resort: Located 2 hours away from Seattle.
  • Mount Baker Ski Area: Located 2h and 45 minutes drive from Seattle.
  • Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort: about 3 hours away.
  • White Pass Ski Area: about 3 hours away as well.
  • Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area: a little more than 3 hours way from Seattle by car.
  • Whistler Blackcomb British Columbia-Canada: this one is a bit far (a little more than 4 hours away from Seattle by car). 

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